UFC 192 is STACKED! A fight card that has flown under the radar for many fans puts out a tremendous amount of star power and great fights. From the Fight Pass prelims all the way to the main event, every fight is meaningful in its own way. There are potentially 5 fights with immediate title implications that go from the prelims to the main event. Let’s look at this card more in depth!
Jessica Eye vs. Julianna Peña
In the Women’s Bantamweight division, the main card starter is Jessica Eye (11-3, 1 NC MMA; 1-2, 1 NC UFC)* and Julianna Peña (6-2; 2-0). While Dana White has not said this fight is a number contender fight (what does it even mean at this point), this fight could have potential immediate title implications for either fighter. Eye is number 7 in our most recent rankings while Peña is an honorable mention.
Eye has become one of the most recognizable non-title women’s fighters in the UFC. She lost her last fight in what was expected to be a number-one contender fight against Miesha Tate. After a great first round, Eye was beaten and battered for the next two and lost by decision. Her UFC career has come interestingly with her UFC debut ending in a No-Contest when she tested positive for marijuana metabolites. Since then she has gone 1-2 with the lone win coming to Leslie Smith at UFC 180. ‘Evil’ is a go-getter in the cage as she brings in 4.82 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) **.
Peña was The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 winner. She was coach Miesha Tate’s first pick and made it worth it. She beat fellow finalist Jessica Rakoczy by first-round TKO to become the Season 18 winner. She was injured for quite some time after a knee injury and returned at UFC Fight Night 63 in April. She beat Milana Dudieva by 1st round TKO. She has landed 80 Significant Strikes in less than 9 minutes of cage time while only getting hit with 4. She has passed the guard of her opponent 7 times in her two fights.
Shawn Jordan vs. Ruslan Magomedov
A fun Heavyweight matchup brings itself to the main card with Shawn Jordan (18-6; 6-3) and Ruslan Magomedov (13-1; 2-0). This is the only fight on the main card that does not have immediate title implications but is a very fun fight to put on the main card.
Jordan is a former College Football National Champion at LSU. He was a champion in 2003 and 2007 as a Fullback. He started his fighting career just two years later and went 12-3 before joining the UFC after the Strikeforce merger. ‘The Savage’ is on a three-fight win streak with three finishes and his last ten wins have come by finishes. Jordan is an extremely accurate Heavyweight with 3.15 SLpM and 52% Striking Accuracy. His wrestling has always been strong with 2.14 Takedowns per 15 min. and 76% Takedown Defense (TDD).
Magomedov is on an 8 fight win streak with the last two coming in the UFC. Before the UFC he had wins over Ricco Rodriguez and Tim Sylvia. He made his debut at UFC Fight Night 41 with a decision win over Viktor Pesta. His last fight was at Fight Night 57 where he won a decision again. The Russian fighter is a defensive striker with 1.53 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM) and 67% Striking Defense. He also brings in 3.67 SLpM.
Ryan Bader vs. Rashad Evans
The same night as a Light Heavyweight championship fight, the UFC put together a “number one” contender fight between Ryan Bader (19-4; 11-4) and Rashad Evans (19-3; 13-3). The fight is dubbed as a title-eliminator fight, but the Light Heavyweight division is wide open and could see a sleeper. Bader is number 5 and ‘Sugar” number 6 in our rankings.
Bader is a winner of 4 straight and 5 of his last 6. He got into a verbal scuffle with champion Daniel Cormier at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference. It was expected after that for the UFC to make Cormier-Bader for the title. They went the opposite direction with Gustafsson and the organization gave him a title-eliminator fight. He last fought at UFC on Fox 14 where he beat Phil Davis by Split-Decision for his fourth straight win. Bader is a former collegiate wrestler who uses his wrestling in his game along with his grinder style. He gets 3.59 Takedowns per 15 min. and 73% TDD to go with his improving striking with 71% Striking Defense and 1.42 SApM.
Evans is the Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner and the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion. He beat Forrest Griffin for the title at UFC 92 by TKO to become the champion. He has career wins over Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Phil Davis and Chael Sonnen. His fight with Sonnen at UFC 167 was the last time we saw him when he got a knee surgery. He was scheduled for a headliner against former title challenger Glover Teixeira but pulled out when his knee was not healed. Evans is also a former D-1 collegiate wrestler who uses his wrestling better than most in the Octagon. He comes in with 3.34 Takedowns per 15 min. He also comes in with some defensive striking with 2.19 SApM and 64% Striking Defense.
Johny Hendricks vs. Tyron Woodley
Another number-one contender fight is slated for the co-main event as Johny Hendricks (17-3; 12-3) and Tyron Woodley (15-3; 5-2) finally get a chance to fight. The two have competed as collegiate wrestlers against each other with Hendricks coming out the winner. Hendricks is number 2 in our Welterweight rankings and Woodley comes in at fourth place.
Hendricks is the former Welterweight champion after beating now-champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 for the vacant belt. After 7 straight wins, he was granted a title shot to former long-time champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 167. The fight was close with many thinking Hendricks the winner, but the judges gave the nod to St. Pierre. ‘GSP’ retired after that fight, and Hendricks was matched up with Robbie Lawler for the vacant title. He won the fight in a Fight of the Year by unanimous decision. He was injured before the fight and required bicep surgery while his counterpart Lawler racking up the wins. He was dethroned by Lawler at UFC 181 in another great fight. He last fought at UFC 185 where he beat Matt Brown by decision. The former D-1 wrestler shows it well with 4.44 Takedowns per 15 min. and 61% TDD. His striking is very good with 3.62 SLpM but also gets hit often with his 3.59 SApM.
Woodley is also a former D-1 wrestler with solid striking. Woodley has won his last 2 and four of his last five. Before losing a title fight in Strikeforce, Woodley has been on an 8 fight win streak with wins over Tarec Saffiedine and Paul Daley. Since joining the UFC, he has a 5-2 record with four finishes. His last fight was at UFC 183 in the co-main event where he beat a heavy (180 lbs. in the Welterweight division) Kelvin Gastelum. He broke his foot in the fight and required surgery, which kept him out for several months. Woodley is a power puncher with only 2.56 SLpM and 50% Striking Accuracy to go along with his elite wrestling of 91% TDD.
Daniel Cormier (c) vs. Alexander Gustafsson
The main event is for the Light Heavyweight title as champion Daniel Cormier (16-1; 5-1) puts his belt on the line against Alexander Gustafsson (16-3; 8-3). The fight is different as Cormier is 5’11’’ and Gustafsson is 6’5’’. Cormier is number 2 in our rankings (behind Jon Jones) and Gustafsson fourth.
Cormier is a former Heavyweight who was 2-0 in the UFC before moving down to 205. He beat Patrick Cummins in his first fight as a Light Heavyweight followed by a submission win over legend Dan Henderson. He earned a title shot against former champion Jon Jones at UFC 178 after his opponent now (Gustafsson) could not make it to the fight. The fight was rescheduled for UFC 182 after Jones couldn’t make it to the fight. The fight did not go Cormier’s way as he lost by unanimous decision for his first career loss. After Jones vacated the title, Cormier was pulled from his headlining bout against Ryan Bader to fight Anthony Johnson for the vacant title. He won every round and beat Johnson by Rear-Naked choke in the third round to become the champion. A former Olympic wrestler, ‘DC’ has improved his striking with 3.63 SLpM and 1.71 SApM (+1.92 Striking Difference) to go along with 64% Striking Defense. His wrestling is still elite with 2.04 Takedowns per 15 min. and 77% TDD.
Gustafsson is a former title-challenger to Jon Jones. His 7 straight wins yielded a title fight at UFC 165 where he fought the fight of his life. He gave the dominant champ a tough fight, winning two rounds and almost taking the fight. His first fight off of that was a headlining bout against Jimi Manuwa, which he won by TKO. The UFC booked Jones-Gustafsson 2 for UFC 178, but ‘The Mauler’ got injured and had to pull out. He was then in a title-eliminator fight as he headlined UFC on Fox 14 with Anthony Johnson in his hometown of Stockholm. He lost the fight by TKO and Johnson was given his title shot. He had a headlining fight against Glover Teixeira for UFC Fight Night 69, but had to pull out due to a back injury. ‘The Mauler’ is one of the division’s best strikers with 4.06 SLpM and 3.38 SApM. He was the first (and only) guy to take Jon Jones down and keeps an 86% TDD.
*All records from Sherdog.com
**All stats from FightMetric.com
Stephen Thompson wants Rafael dos Anjos in contender eliminator bout
Over the weekend, Rafael dos Anjos defeated Robbie Lawler at UFC Fight Night: Winnipeg, in dominant fashion via unanimous decision. The main event of the Canadian event was Dos Anjos’ third victory in as many fights at welterweight. The former UFC lightweight champion moved up in weight after suffering two consecutive losses. First, relinquishing his championship title to Eddie Alvarez, then falling to current interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson. Although the Brazilian had fought at the 155-pound weight limit exclusively in his career, his weight cut in order to reach the lightweight limit is admittedly brutal.
When talking with FloCombat, the top welterweight contender claimed, “It is not worth it [the weight cut] considering the amount I’m earning today. This was one of my motivations to change to welterweight. I don’t need to kill myself and earn this salary.” He further explained the agony of making the weight limit, “I want to avoid those last 15 pounds. That is terror and panic. It’s almost death. I don’t need to face that anymore. I want to fight well and happy, get in there strong and in good shape”.
Now that Dos Anjos has arrived at welterweight with such success, he believes he deserves a shot at Tyron Woodley and the 170-pound belt.
Am'I the only one that thinks that this fight should be for a interim title? Since the champ is out until next year?
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) October 12, 2017
This is a sentiment that UFC president Dana White seems to agree with. At the Toronto press conference, White fielded a question on whether or not the winner of the Lawler vs. Dos Anjos match-up would yield a title contender, “Yup,” he responded. Later in the press event, White further clarified Dos Anjos’ position in the welterweight ranks, “(RDA) just had a great win to get himself back into contention and a win over Robbie Lawler obviously would do it”.
Yet, another top-ranked welterweight does not agree. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson wants a third crack at welterweight gold, and he believes Dos Anjos is his ticket back to title contention.
That was a WAR! Hats off to both RDA and Robbie for that effort! I can be back in the Octagon this March. @RdosAnjosMMA , let’s give the fans another treat. We both want gold, it’s only fitting we battle for it! @ufc #UFCWinnipeg @danawhite
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) December 17, 2017
What makes this challenge intriguing? The status of current welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley. Last week, Woodley announced on his TMZ show, The Hollywood Beatdown, he would be having surgery. The champion stated, “I’m going to go ahead and get this shoulder repaired. I’ve been saying, ‘You know what, I don’t want to get it cut on, I don’t want to get it repaired.’ But if there’s no fight that really makes a ton of sense for me to take the risk, to not be 100 percent with my shoulder, then I’m going to go ahead and have it repaired. They’re not going to do a full orthopedic rehabilitation, but they’re going to do a scope and they’re going to anchor down some sides. Then I’m going to get some PRP (platelet-rich plasma), some stem cells.” A timetable for his return is not readily available.
As the division stands, the truly deserving of the next welterweight title shot would be either Thompson or Dos Anjos. The recent credentials of both garner such status. Thompson most recently defeated rising contender, Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217. Before his early November victory over Masvidal, the undefeated kick-boxer challenged for the belt twice, consecutively. While he was unsuccessful in both attempts to earn the belt, each fight was extremely close. The first of which, scored a majority draw.
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.
An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.
The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.
UFC Winnipeg Official Results:
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
- #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT
- #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
- Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
- Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
- John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
- Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT
- Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.
It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.
Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.
In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.
Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.
In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
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